Interview: Prakhar Singh (Standard Chartered GBS Intern)

Please give us a brief description of your internship profile and the project you did.

My internship was in a Software Development profile. The project I did was development of a web app using MERN (Mongo Express React Node), where I created a Metadata Dashboard for frontend and also an API, i.e., a middleware to fetch data from the organization’s database and display on the frontend in a visually appealing UI. Overall it was a core web development project.

How was the selection process for Standard Chartered?

Speaking of the eligibility criteria, the company was open for students of all B.Tech branches who have more than 70% in 10th and 12th with current CGPA of 6.5 and above, with no active backlogs. The selection procedure consisted of a logical reasoning and competency test, followed by a coding test and subsequent interviews. Each stage was eliminative. We also had a GD round before shortlisting for the final one-on-one interviews. The difficulty level was medium-tough for the coding test, while the reasoning test had a cut-off of 40 percentile.

Please tell us about the pattern of the OTs. Do you have some tips for the students preparing for the same?

As I mentioned earlier, there were two OTs a person had to clear before reaching the interview round. The first test had three subparts. One had to clear the first subpart to be able to attempt the next two which were a qualification for the 2nd OT.
The first subpart was based on human values and ethics, where we had to prioritise our answers based on the situation given. We were given 5 options that we had to arrange according to our preferences. The second and third subparts were of logical reasoning and numerical reasoning respectively. Each question had a specific time limit of 60-75 secs.
The second test was an online coding test which had 3 sections – MCQ, SQL, and a coding problem. The level of MCQs was easy to moderate, but the time given was precise. The SQL query section was tough whereas the coding question was a simple array manipulation problem.

What are the technical skills that the company majorly seeks for in the candidates?

Technical proficiencies needed to crack an SCB internship include competitive coding, SQL, Operating Systems, Database Management Systems, and core software concepts like OOPS. The most important among these are Server Side Development and SQL.

How are the interviews for Standard Chartered? What would you suggest students to be equipped with before going for the interviews? 

The personal interviews were more resume based. Questions were majorly related to your projects and co-curricular activities along with a few HR questions. You can expect technical questions about the topics mentioned above, as well as a few puzzles. My only suggestion for the PIs would be to display confidence in what you speak and use the first 10 mins of your PI to analyse and try to start a casual conversation with the interviewer if possible, as this will settle your nerves and make you feel comfortable. Also, it is very important to not bluff in your resume and to be very well versed about each and every aspect of it.

Which stage of the selection process did you find the most challenging? Is there some advice you’d want to give to the students aspiring to apply for Standard Chartered?

I found the first OT, specifically the logical and numerical reasoning subparts, to be the most challenging. A very tight time limit on each question made it even more demanding. My only advice to students aspiring for an SCB internship is to stay strong on your technical skills, and to be confident and honest in your PIs.

Please give us an insight into the work culture of Standard Chartered. What is a day like being an intern there? How was it varied due to the intern operation being made virtual?

I would say the first few days of the internship were more hectic due to the orientation sessions and networking with the higher management of the organisation. A normal day involved 1-1.5 hour daily meetings with the project team. However, working hours were very flexible. My immediate manager and mentor were based in Singapore and had had time zone compatibility issues.
As the internship was completely virtual, the only major change I felt was the lack of experience in terms of office working culture and peer-to-peer interaction, which is a key factor in making an internship experience wholesome.

How much do you think your previous internship/project experience helped you get through the selection process?

My previous internships were also in the development domain but weren’t exactly similar to what was required for SCB. Being an EEE graduate, I worked in the Electronic design domains using Verilog and VHDL in my second year internship. So it didn’t help me in my pursuit for this internship. However, the soft skills and work experience in my previous in-office internship surely helped me in GD and interview rounds of the selection process.

How has the technical club you’re a part of added value to your selection process for Standard Chartered?

I am a part of Spider, in the Web Dev domain. The skills that I learnt in Spider through the projects weren’t really put to use during the interview and selection process, but once I entered the organization and was introduced to my project, which turned out to be web-dev based, the experience I got doing projects in Spider really helped me. Apart from that, I also believe that the great value which the club added to my profile and portfolio as a whole must have surely impressed the interviewer, and might have played a crucial role in my selection.

How did you tailor your resume for Standard Chartered? What are the points that they specifically look for in your opinion? 

Not only for SCB, but for every other company visiting our campus, the strategy for resume should be the same. Do some research regarding what the interviewer might be expecting out of you, and use those insights to reframe and restructure your resume, highlighting the expectations you came up with while researching. During the interviews they’ll be mostly interested in your projects and PORs.

What are the major skills that you gained working as an intern at Standard Chartered?

I built up on my pre-existing web-dev skills, and also learnt skills such as team collaboration and networking within a huge organization such as SCB. I was also introduced to things such as reviewing and testing while developing anything.
I learnt about Financial banking and Investment banking along with the role of the IT industry in banking in detail, which I think was an add-on to the tech experience I gained during my internship. 

 What are the major factors, in your opinion, that help interns bag a PPO? 

The most important factor in my opinion is your relationship with your mentor and reporting manager. You need to keep them impressed through your work and professionalism, sticking to deadlines and giving your all during the internship.

Prakhar Singh can be reached at: 

Email ID- prakharsingh242@gmail.com

Contact No.- 7500387838

LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/prakhar-singh-852110173/

Interview coordinated by Kratika Chaturvedi. 

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